The Elaidken (Old Draconic for People of Shadow) is an insurgent group dedicated to the removal of StrexCorp from power. Its primary purpose is to resist StrexCorp’s cultural and legal hold on Desert Bluffs. Connections between other insurgent groups are extremely likely but difficult to prove.
The true origins of the Elaidken are unknown, but Alistair Suncatcher is believed to have founded the group in 1967, several years before he escaped to and co-founded the modern-day Greater Free Raeniasya. It is the oldest and longest-surviving Anti-Strex group to date. They seemed to mostly focus on forming mutual aid groups, providing unauthorized courier services throughout the region, and supplementing standard education with their own - activities that are not strictly illegal. The group was small and excessive control was not necessary. A small faction temporarily split off and began a militia in 1986, but all members were captured and re-educated or terminated.
After the incorporation of Sunflower Acres into Desert Bluffs in 2003, the residents there formed a militia supported by the Elaidken. They provided weapons to the citizens, trained some senior members, and assisted in organizational matters. During the Second Desert Bluffs War, both groups fought together. A large number of members were caught and re-educated, with a low rate of recidivism among survivors.
Despite the hit to its membership, the Elaidken are still active and likely recouped their losses within 5 years. There is now a greater focus on military action, although its other services are still offered.
On the rare occasion there is direct confrontation, the Elaidken primarily use guerilla warfare. There is little natural cover in the grassland, so troops stage ambushes from specially-constructed underground tunnels and abandoned storm cellars. Other techniques include fighting exclusively at night and using natural terrain to hide and gain vantage points.
However, action against StrexCorp is largely centered around sabotage and disruption. Elaidken members have been known to magically disorient company drivers, interfere with building construction via small-scale destruction, and create false leads for investigators. It has been theorized that they have infiltrated the City Guard, but there is little evidence for this claim.
The Elaidken rely on forming bonds with community members for recruitment. Courier services, education, and financial aid are offered free of charge to members and nonmembers alike. Meals are distributed during traditional holidays, including ones not recognized by StrexCorp. The Elaidken also escort escapees out of Strex-controlled land. Known routes head south into the Agata Forest, north to the Silver Forest, or east to the Greater Free Raeniasya.
A typical base will have a kitchen, an armory, storage, two common areas, a study, an infirmary, and housing for a maximum of 10 people. Kitchens are supplied with food gathered in the local area. The common areas double as classrooms for practical skills; battle training is typically done outdoors at night. Bases are underground and have a system of tunnels that can be used for easy and discreet nonmagical travel. Attempts to map these routes have found mixed success at best.
Elaidken members are typically in common, casual dress when inside of bases, performing sabotage, and at meetings. Army uniforms use padded armor in shades of navy blue and black. A circular patch on the right arm denotes role: lavender for ranged spellcasters and archers, light blue for melee fighters and close-range spellcasters, cyan for healers and support, and silver for couriers and messengers. A square patch beneath is embroidered with the symbol and name of the member’s regiment, typically white and cool colors on black.
The Elaidken flag is flown inside of bases and at areas where couriers and escapee escorts can stop to rest and restock supplies. It features a navy chevron on the left, with an indigo fess cotised by deep blue.